The faltering electrical system in the United States is finally getting some substantial renovations. The Biden administration announced a plan last week that aims to bring more sustainable energy sources online and create more high-voltage transmission cables around the country to deliver that power where it’s needed, among other things.
On the surface, the plan appears to be simply building on the foundation provided by Biden when he signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill in November. Parts of the framework revealed last week focus on the kind of nitty-gritty minutiae that could make your eyes glaze over, such how to increase the efficiency of approving clean energy projects on public lands and vague references to promoting clean energy expansion in rural regions.
But it’s Biden’s ambitions for Offshore Wind power that are worth paying attention to, as it’s a vital energy source for locations like the northeastern United States that lack the space and sunlight that solar energy requires. This is where the new plan shifts from commonplace to ambitious, and it could be a sign of how the administration plans to address climate change, energy, and jobs all at once.
Offshore Wind turbines work similarly to land-based wind turbines, with the exception that they are anchored in the seafloor several of miles off the coast, where they can capture powerful ocean winds. Winds like these can be seen in abundance in the North Atlantic. Currently, the United States has only seven Offshore Wind turbines: five in a wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island’s Block Island, and two more in Virginia that are being tested.